There are a lot of things we can live without, but sleep isn’t one of them.
Many of us don’t get the sleep we need in normal times, let alone during a worldwide pandemic. In fact, fear of catching COVID-19 and grappling with everything that’s changed because of it has given rise to a new term for this type of insomnia called “coronasomnia.”
Economic hardships, disruption to daily routines, and the uncertainty of not knowing when the pandemic will end have hiked stress and anxiety—both of which are not sleep’s best bedfellows.
If you’re having trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep and are experiencing more intense dreams—you’re not alone.
According to the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, COVID-19 has increased online search queries for insomnia in the United States and worldwide, with the number of queries peaking around 3 am. And CentraState’s Center for Sleep Disorders has seen a jump in patients with insomnia symptoms related to COVID-induced stress.
“Loss of sleep wreaks havoc with our health and can compromise the very immunity we need to resist COVID,” says Samuel Krachman, DO, pulmonary disease specialist and medical director of CentraState’s Center for Sleep Disorders.
But here’s some welcome news. Even with everything that’s on our minds, says Dr. Krachman, we can take steps to combat coronasomnia and get restorative rest.